Coursera Pros And Cons
- A wide range of subjects is available including computer science, business, and design
- More than 7,000 courses in the library
- A variety of qualification levels from beginners’ short courses to full-length Master’s degrees
- Courses available from top-rated institutions
- 7-day free trial on Coursera Plus subscription
- Courses in many different languages
- Different pricing models for different needs
- Around 1,700 free courses
- Low prices on Coursera Plus subscription
- You can earn certificates when you complete a course
- Flexible schedule - learn whenever you like
- Possible to apply for Financial Aid or a Scholarship
- Hands-on learning approach
- Can download courses for offline learning
- High-quality courses taught by experts in their fields
- Not as many lifestyle courses as other online learning platforms offer
- Few courses are outdated
- Higher-level courses can be expensive, although still cheaper than on-campus
Coursera Review: What Is Coursera?
Coursera is an online learning platform that offers students worldwide affordable access to thousands of courses, certificates, and degrees from leading companies and world-class universities, including Yale, Imperial College of London, IBM, and Google.
Coursera was founded in 2012 by two Stanford professors who decided that there was a gap in the market for a new online learning platform. Coursera soon became a popular choice for learners thanks to its connections with prestigious institutions. These include Stanford University, the University of Michigan, and John Hopkins University to name a few. Combining these accredited universities with a wide range of courses has meant that Coursera has now become one of the most popular online learning platforms.
The difference between Coursera and other learning sites is that Coursera is able to offer full degrees from universities across the globe, accessible by anyone. They boast over 7,000 courses ranging from short courses that only last 4 weeks to Bachelor's and Master's degrees that take up to six years.
How Does Coursera Work?
Coursera offers courses taught by experts at 250+ prestigious universities and companies all across the globe. Right now, there are over 7,000 courses in the catalog divided into eleven categories: Data Science, Business, Computer Science, Personal Development, Information Technology, Language Learning, Health, Math and Logic, Social Sciences, Physical Science and Engineering, and Arts and Humanities.
On Coursera, you learn skills that can help you achieve your career goals and at the end of each paid course earn a Certificate. There are hundreds of free courses as well, plus you can get started with a free trial.
What I like about Coursera is that you can learn at your own pace. You get on-demand lectures for your computer or cellphone and watch them on your schedule.
What sort of courses does Coursera offer?
Coursera is not just for people wanting to gain a degree in a traditional subject. The platform has plenty of choices when it comes to courses and all of them are from accredited institutions.
Average time: 1-2 hours
Price: from $9,99 a month
Good for: learning job skills fast
Guided Projects are aimed at people who need to learn and master job-relevant skills in a matter of hours. It's a hands-on learning experience where you use a tool called Rhyme to work on a project in a virtual workspace.
Average time: 4-12 hours
Good for: learning certain skills and gaining new knowledge
There are around 1,700 free courses in the Coursera catalog right now. With free courses, you get access to all materials, but if you want to earn a Certificate or have access to graded assignments, then you will have to pay extra. Some courses are rather short, while others can take weeks and even months to complete.
Average time: 1-3 months
Price: from $39 a month
Good for: mastering a specific skill
Specializations are a series of related courses created for people who are already working within a certain industry and need additional knowledge to help them with their careers. Some Specializations include three courses and take a few months to finish, while others include more than ten courses and take up to a year to complete.
Average time: 1-6 months
Price: from $39 a month
Good for: learning new skills for an in-demand career
Professional Certificates are a selection of courses that have been selected to help people get further in their business. If you need to develop a certain skill in order to get a promotion, or you want to plan ahead for your career then the Professional Certificates is a great way to do that.
Average time: 4-7 months
Price: from $2,000
Good for: earning credit towards a degree and a university-issued Certificate
MasterTrack Certificates are aimed at helping learners earn degree credits through a flexible and interactive format. MasterTrack Certificates are made of portions of Master’s degree programs from top universities. They feature team-based learning, live expert instruction and feedback, and collaboration with peers. If you enroll in MasterTrack Certificates you will also be able to create work samples and demonstrate your skills through real-world assignments and projects.
Average time: 2-4 years
Price: from $9,000
Good for: earning Bachelor’s or Master’s degree
Coursera offers Bachelor's and Master's degrees from some of the world's most prestigious universities. All programs are 100% online so you can earn a degree anytime and anywhere in the world. Coursera offers Bachelor's degrees in Computer Science, Marketing, Business Administration, and Applied Arts and Sciences; and Master's degrees in Computer Science, Information Technology, Engineering, Data Science, MBA, Entrepreneurship, Public Health, Public Policy, International Relations, Accounting, Finance, and more. If you complete a MasterTrack Certificate, it can be counted towards degree learning.
How much does Coursera cost?
Coursera has lots of free courses, however, if you want to earn a Certificate and gain full access to courses, then you will have to pay for it. Courses start from as little as $39. For this price, you don’t just get the course itself. You also gain access to mobile learning (learn wherever you can as long as you have a compatible device), technical support, learning community, graded assignments, feedback from teachers, and Certificates (great for sharing on LinkedIn!).
Coursera Plus Subscription
Coursera Plus is a subscription plan for unlimited learning. If you want to enroll in several courses or Specializations throughout the year, then this is a great option for you. Coursera Plus subscription includes unlimited access to over 7,000 courses, Guided Projects, Specializations, and Professional Certificates programs in different categories, including business, data science, health, computer science, personal development, and more. More than 90% of all Coursera courses are included in the Coursera Plus subscription making it worth its already affordable price. However, MasterTrack and degree programs are excluded. With Coursera Plus you will earn a Certificate for each course you complete.
How much does Coursera Plus cost?
Coursera Plus offers three subscription plans.
Single learning program - for those who want to learn a certain skill or topic and earn a Certificate
Price: $49 – $79 a month
- Access to all courses within the learning program
- Certificate upon completion
Coursera Plus Monthly - for those who want to complete several courses and earn Certificates in a short period of time
Price: $59 a month
- Access to 7,000+ courses and Specializations
- Unlimited Certificates
- 7-day free trial (cancel anytime)
Coursera Plus Annual - for those who have long-term learning goals and plan to complete several courses throughout the year
Price: $399 a year ($33,25 a month)
- Access to 7,000+ courses and Specializations
- Unlimited Certificates
- 7-day free trial (cancel anytime)
- 14-day money-back guarantee
Coursera Free Trial
Coursera offers a 7-day free trial on Coursera Plus subscription. It is a good way to try the platform before becoming a paying member. A free trial allows you to access all course materials. If you don't cancel the trial before it ends, you will be charged for a subscription and won't be eligible for a refund.
You can earn a Course Certificate for most Coursera Courses if you complete and pass the course. You will also need to pay the Certificate fee. If you get approved for Financial Aid, you will be able to get a Certificate from Coursera for free.
If you decide to take a course for free in audit mode, but then decide that you want to earn a Certificate, you will be able to upgrade at any time during or after the audit.
There are some courses that do not offer Certificates, but in my experience, that is pretty rare.
After you pay for a course, you will have 180 days to complete it and earn a Certificate. After that, your payment will expire and you will have to pay again to earn a Certificate. This deadline may vary if you are taking a course as a part of a Specialization.
So are Coursera Certificates valuable and worth it? Well, that depends on who you ask. I personally don't care much about them, because for me, Coursera is more about learning new skills and not about getting a piece of paper. I don't think that you can get a job just with Coursera Certificate, but the skills you obtain by taking courses will certainly make it easier for you to advance in your career.
Is Coursera free?
Coursera is not free, but there are almost 1,700 free courses available on the platform. These are the courses from top universities, and many of them are really good.
What are the best free courses on Coursera?
- Brand Management: Aligning Business, Brand and Behaviour: University of London
- Introduction to Statistics: Stanford University
- Introduction to Psychology: Yale University
- Machine Learning: Stanford University
- Indigenous Canada: University of Alberta
- Writing in the Sciences: Stanford University
- The Science of Well-Being: Yale University
- Financial Markets: Yale University
- Stanford Introduction to Food and Health: Stanford University
- Successful Negotiation: Essential Strategies and Skills: University of Michigan
How to enroll in a Coursera course?
If you want to take a course on Coursera, you first need to choose an enrollment option (there are often both free and paid options available depending on the course).
- Course Certificate - you take a single course for a Certificate
- Specializations - you enroll in a Specialization, a series of related courses that will help you master a topic of your choice. Specialization courses include a free trial, and you can pay for all courses right away or pay by the course.
- Coursera Plus - you can sign for a Coursera Plus membership that offers unlimited access to over 90% of all courses on Coursera. This is, in my opinion, is the best option. Coursera Plus also comes with a 7-day free trial.
- Financial Aid or Scholarship - you can apply for Financial Aid or a Scholarship. Most of the courses on Coursera offer this option.
- Audit only - you can choose to audit courses and get free access to course materials. You won't get your work graded and won't be able to submit some of the assignments. You also won't get a Course Certificate.
- Full course, no certificate - you can take a full course without earning a Certificate for free. In case you decide to get a Certificate you will be able to pay for it any time during or after the course.
Once you choose one of the options above go to the course information page and click Enroll. After you do that, you can start taking a course at any time. If you decide to take a break, don't forget to reset your assignment deadlines afterward.
After you complete a paid course, you won't have access to its paid content anymore. You will still have access to the free content, which includes downloading transcripts and videos.
How to find which course to take on Coursera?
Coursera has a pretty good search function, so it is easy to find which course to take. You can browse Coursera's catalog by sub-topics and subject areas. Usually, Specializations are listed first, before individual courses with upcoming sessions.
The catalog lists all Coursera Specializations and courses, even the ones that are not open for enrollment at the moment. However, you can use the filters to find courses that are either starting soon or available right now.
Are Coursera courses good?
I have taken my fair share of online courses on different platforms, and I can tell with certainty that Coursera courses are really good (at least the ones that I took). All courses are offered by top universities in the world, and the quality is usually very high. Of course, once in a while, you can come across an outdated course, so I recommend always reading reviews before enrollment.
Are there deadlines on Coursera?
Most courses on Coursera have deadlines that are generated based on a personalized schedule that begins after you enroll in a course. If you miss a deadline, it usually won't affect your grade or your eligibility for earning a Certificate. You can also use a Reser Deadlines option to switch to a new course schedule.
Degree programs have specific start dates and hard deadlines for assignments that cannot be reset and can include late penalties.
Does Coursera refund money?
That depends. If you purchased an individual course or a Coursera Plus annual subscription, you can request a refund within 14 days of your payment. However, you can’t get a refund if you have already earned a Course Certificate. Also, if you subscribed to a Course or a Specialization, then your payments are not refundable, but you can cancel your subscription to avoid any future charges.
Are Coursera courses accredited and recognized?
Most short Coursera courses are not accredited. For me, that is not a big deal, because I use Coursera and other learning platforms to gain knowledge rather than credentials. However, if you are interested in earning credentials, you might want to look into Coursera degree programs and MasterTrack Certificates.
Does Coursera have an age limit?
Learners must be at least 13 years old to take courses on Coursera (some European countries have a higher age limit, check the Coursera website for more information). If you are under 18 years of age you must also have parental supervision.
How to get free Certificates from Coursera?
Normally, you have to pay to get a Certificate from Coursera. However, if you complete a course during a free trial, you will be able to get a Certificate. Also, sometimes Coursera runs promotions and offers free Certificates for certain courses.
Does Coursera offer financial aid?
Yes. If you want to earn a Certificate but cannot afford to pay for it, you can apply for Financial Aid or a Scholarship. If your application gets approved, you will be able to access all of the course materials and complete assignments that are required to earn a Certificate. Certain courses do not offer Financial Aid, but most of them do. While your application is being reviewed, you cannot start a free trial, otherwise, the application will be canceled.
If you want to apply for Financial Aid for a Specialization, you will need to submit separate applications for each course. Financial Aid cannot be transferred across different courses.
Is Coursera legit?
Coursera was founded a decade ago and is now considered to be one of the most reputable online learning platforms. So to answer this question, yes, Coursera is legit.
Do Coursera courses count for credit?
No, short Coursera courses don't count for college credit. However, there are MasterTrack Certificates that do.
Is paying for Coursera worth it?
Even though there are almost 2,000 free courses available in the Coursera catalog, I still think that paying for a Coursera Plus subscription is worth it. This way, you will get full access to almost all courses and Specializations and earn Certificates for each one of them.
How do you get discounts on Coursera?
Coursera doesn't run promotions very often. The best way to get a discount on Coursera is by purchasing a Coursera Plus annual subscription for $399 which will save you over $300 (the monthly subscription costs $59 per month which comes down to $709 per year).
Is Coursera free for university students?
Coursera offers The Coursera for Campus Students plan that allows college and university students to get free access to unlimited Guided Projects and one course per year. This plan is available to full-time, part-time, community college, and university students who have a university or college-issued email address.
Can I get a Certificate from Coursera after auditing?
Yes, you can upgrade at any time during or after an audit to get a paid Certificate.
Can I complete a Coursera course in 7 days?
It usually takes at least a few weeks to complete a course, but if you want, you can do it faster.
Can I use a Coursera Certificate in my resume?
Yes, you can use a Coursera Certificate in your resume or college application to showcase your skills.
Is Google Coursera free?
No, Google Professional Certificates on Coursera are not free. The IT Support, User Experience Design, Data Analytics, and Project Management Certificates cost $39 per month with a Coursera subscription.
Coursera vs. Udemy
Both Coursera and Udemy are good online learning platforms, but in my opinion, Coursera is better than Udemy. Although Udemy has more courses, Coursera's ones are better structured. Coursera Certificates are also more valuable because they are offered by top universities.
Coursera vs. edX
Coursera and edX are similar platforms, both offer online courses and full degrees. You can earn Certificates from Coursera and edX. Coursera courses are cheaper, especially if you opt for an annual subscription, and there is more variety of subjects compared to edX.
Coursera vs. LinkedIn Learning
Coursera has a better content quality compared to LinkedIn Learning. Coursera has fewer courses than LinkedIn Learning. Both platforms offer Certificates, but only Coursera has degree programs. LinkedIn Learning is slightly cheaper, but Coursera has more free courses.
Is Coursera Worth It In 2023?
Coursera is a good online learning platform. For a low monthly fee, you get unlimited access to over 7,000 courses from the world's top universities and learn skills that can help you advance your career. Coursera also offers Certificates for each paid course you take. Overall, Coursera is definitely worth it.
Coursera is one of the best and most affordable online learning platforms, that offers courses and Specializations in a variety of subjects. Coursera offers courses from top universities like Yale, Michigan, and Stanford, and most of the courses are well-structured and are of high quality.
The best way to decide whether Coursera is right for you is to try out one of their free courses or sign up for a 7-day free trial. Then you will be able to decide whether it’s worth your time and money.